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Stephanie Jeffcoat

1345

Bold Points

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Finalist

Bio

For over 10 years I struggled with addiction, homelessness, and incarceration. I lost my home, my car, my children. 3 years ago my youngest child was adopted out without my knowledge during my time of incarceration. That situation drove me to the path that I'm on today. I truly know what it means to have to humble myself. For the last 30 months I have been sober. I have enrolled back in school and have decided to pursue law school. Next year I will be graduating with four Associates degrees. This fall I will begin the process to transfer to Cal State Fullerton to get a bachelors in Public Administration. I want to be able to give back to the community.

Education

Fullerton College

Associate's degree program
2019 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Social Sciences, General
    • Political Science and Government

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Dependency Lawyer

      Public services

      • Advocacy

        A New Way of Life — Community Organizer
        2019 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Second Baptist Churcg — Women's and Kitchen Ministry
        2019 – Present

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Politics

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Entrepreneurship

      Miguel Mendez Social Justice Scholarship
      Dear Scholarship Committee, I am Stephanie Jeffcoat, a first-generation college student with a unique journey of resilience and determination. Before re-enrolling in 2019, I endured a tumultuous decade marked by cycles of incarceration, substance abuse, and four years of homelessness. Throughout this challenging period, I was also tragically separated from my four children. Enduring those challenging experiences served as my primary motivation to return to school and embark on the path toward a law degree. In 2019, I embarked on a new path by enrolling at Fullerton College with a strong resolve to create a better future for myself and my family. I chose to major in Political Science, and while it sometimes felt unusual to be one of the older students in my classes, I knew it was a necessary step for my personal growth and my children's well-being. During my time at Fullerton College, I took the initiative to establish a club for formerly incarcerated students. We aimed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who, like me, were returning to education after being impacted by the criminal justice system. My dedication to my studies was evident as I consistently earned a place on the dean's honors list for four out of the five semesters I spent there. Remarkably, I graduated in May 2022, achieving five associate degrees in Political Science, Social Sciences, Human Arts and Expression, and Social Behavior and Self Development. My son also graduated from high school during the same period, marking a significant milestone for our family. Following my successful journey at Fullerton College, I made the transition to Cal State Fullerton last fall to continue my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree. Beyond that, I aspire to attend law school. Specifically, I aim to become a dependency lawyer, advocating for parents who have had their children removed by the Child Welfare System. Having experienced the anguish of losing my child, I am motivated to support as many parents as possible in their journey to reunify with their children. This year, I established a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting women transitioning out of our county's jails. Our organization's mission encompasses various vital services, including housing, workforce development, advocacy, and legal representation. The impact of this scholarship extends beyond my educational aspirations; it will also empower me to strengthen our support system for those in need. This scholarship holds immense importance in my educational and career aspirations. It will provide essential financial support that will enable me to continue my academic journey and ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community. Choosing to further my education has been the most impactful decision I've ever made, and I am determined to be the catalyst for positive change that my community needs. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration of my application for this scholarship. Thank you for your support in helping me achieve my dreams and make a difference in the lives of others. Sincerely, Stephanie Jeffcoat
      Joshua A. Vaughn Memorial Scholarship
      Dear Scholarship Committee, I am Stephanie Jeffcoat, a first-generation college student with a unique journey of resilience and determination. Before re-enrolling in 2019, I endured a tumultuous decade marked by cycles of incarceration, substance abuse, and four years of homelessness. Throughout this challenging period, I was also tragically separated from my four children. Enduring those challenging experiences served as my primary motivation to return to school and embark on the path toward a law degree. In 2019, I embarked on a new path by enrolling at Fullerton College with a strong resolve to create a better future for myself and my family. I chose to major in Political Science, and while it sometimes felt unusual to be one of the older students in my classes, I knew it was a necessary step for my personal growth and my children's well-being. During my time at Fullerton College, I took the initiative to establish a club for formerly incarcerated students. We aimed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who, like me, were returning to education after being impacted by the criminal justice system. My dedication to my studies was evident as I consistently earned a place on the dean's honors list for four out of the five semesters I spent there. Remarkably, I graduated in May 2022, achieving five associate degrees in Political Science, Social Sciences, Human Arts and Expression, and Social Behavior and Self Development. My son also graduated from high school during the same period, marking a significant milestone for our family. Following my successful journey at Fullerton College, I made the transition to Cal State Fullerton last fall to continue my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree. Beyond that, I aspire to attend law school. Specifically, I aim to become a dependency lawyer, advocating for parents who have had their children removed by the Child Welfare System. Having experienced the anguish of losing my child, I am motivated to support as many parents as possible in their journey to reunify with their children. This year, I established a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting women transitioning out of our county's jails. Our organization's mission encompasses various vital services, including housing, workforce development, advocacy, and legal representation. The impact of this scholarship extends beyond my educational aspirations; it will also empower me to strengthen our support system for those in need. This scholarship holds immense importance in my educational and career aspirations. It will provide essential financial support that will enable me to continue my academic journey and ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community. Choosing to further my education has been the most impactful decision I've ever made, and I am determined to be the catalyst for positive change that my community needs. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration of my application for this scholarship. Thank you for your support in helping me achieve my dreams and make a difference in the lives of others. Sincerely, Stephanie Jeffcoat
      Catrina Celestine Aquilino Memorial Scholarship
      Dear Scholarship Committee, I am Stephanie Jeffcoat, a first-generation college student with a unique journey of resilience and determination. Before re-enrolling in 2019, I endured a tumultuous decade marked by cycles of incarceration, substance abuse, and four years of homelessness. Throughout this challenging period, I was also tragically separated from my four children. Enduring those challenging experiences served as my primary motivation to return to school and embark on the path toward a law degree. In 2019, I embarked on a new path by enrolling at Fullerton College with a strong resolve to create a better future for myself and my family. I chose to major in Political Science, and while it sometimes felt unusual to be one of the older students in my classes, I knew it was a necessary step for my personal growth and my children's well-being. During my time at Fullerton College, I took the initiative to establish a club for formerly incarcerated students. We aimed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who, like me, were returning to education after being impacted by the criminal justice system. My dedication to my studies was evident as I consistently earned a place on the dean's honors list for four out of the five semesters I spent there. Remarkably, I graduated in May 2022, achieving five associate degrees in Political Science, Social Sciences, Human Arts and Expression, and Social Behavior and Self Development. My son also graduated from high school during the same period, marking a significant milestone for our family. Following my successful journey at Fullerton College, I made the transition to Cal State Fullerton last fall to continue my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree. Beyond that, I aspire to attend law school. Specifically, I aim to become a dependency lawyer, advocating for parents who have had their children removed by the Child Welfare System. Having experienced the anguish of losing my child, I am motivated to support as many parents as possible in their journey to reunify with their children. This year, I established a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting women transitioning out of our county's jails. Our organization's mission encompasses various vital services, including housing, workforce development, advocacy, and legal representation. The impact of this scholarship extends beyond my educational aspirations; it will also empower me to strengthen our support system for those in need. This scholarship holds immense importance in my educational and career aspirations. It will provide essential financial support that will enable me to continue my academic journey and ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community. Choosing to further my education has been the most impactful decision I've ever made, and I am determined to be the catalyst for positive change that my community needs. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration of my application for this scholarship. Thank you for your support in helping me achieve my dreams and make a difference in the lives of others. Sincerely, Stephanie Jeffcoat
      Cheryl Twilley Outreach Memorial Scholarship
      Dear Scholarship Committee, I am Stephanie Jeffcoat, a first-generation college student with a unique journey of resilience and determination. Before re-enrolling in 2019, I endured a tumultuous decade marked by cycles of incarceration, substance abuse, and four years of homelessness. Throughout this challenging period, I was also tragically separated from my four children. Enduring those challenging experiences served as my primary motivation to return to school and embark on the path toward a law degree. In 2019, I embarked on a new path by enrolling at Fullerton College with a strong resolve to create a better future for myself and my family. I chose to major in Political Science, and while it sometimes felt unusual to be one of the older students in my classes, I knew it was a necessary step for my personal growth and my children's well-being. During my time at Fullerton College, I took the initiative to establish a club for formerly incarcerated students. We aimed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who, like me, were returning to education after being impacted by the criminal justice system. My dedication to my studies was evident as I consistently earned a place on the dean's honors list for four out of the five semesters I spent there. Remarkably, I graduated in May 2022, achieving five associate degrees in Political Science, Social Sciences, Human Arts and Expression, and Social Behavior and Self Development. My son also graduated from high school during the same period, marking a significant milestone for our family. Following my successful journey at Fullerton College, I made the transition to Cal State Fullerton last fall to continue my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree. Beyond that, I aspire to attend law school. Specifically, I aim to become a dependency lawyer, advocating for parents who have had their children removed by the Child Welfare System. Having experienced the anguish of losing my child, I am motivated to support as many parents as possible in their journey to reunify with their children. This year, I established a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting women transitioning out of our county's jails. Our organization's mission encompasses various vital services, including housing, workforce development, advocacy, and legal representation. The impact of this scholarship extends beyond my educational aspirations; it will also empower me to strengthen our support system for those in need. This scholarship holds immense importance in my educational and career aspirations. It will provide essential financial support that will enable me to continue my academic journey and ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community. Choosing to further my education has been the most impactful decision I've ever made, and I am determined to be the catalyst for positive change that my community needs. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration of my application for this scholarship. Thank you for your support in helping me achieve my dreams and make a difference in the lives of others. Sincerely, Stephanie Jeffcoat
      Golden State First Gen Scholarship
      Dear Scholarship Committee, I am Stephanie Jeffcoat, a first-generation college student with a unique journey of resilience and determination. Before re-enrolling in 2019, I endured a tumultuous decade marked by cycles of incarceration, substance abuse, and four years of homelessness. Throughout this challenging period, I was also tragically separated from my four children. Enduring those challenging experiences served as my primary motivation to return to school and embark on the path toward a law degree. In 2019, I embarked on a new path by enrolling at Fullerton College with a strong resolve to create a better future for myself and my family. I chose to major in Political Science, and while it sometimes felt unusual to be one of the older students in my classes, I knew it was a necessary step for my personal growth and my children's well-being. During my time at Fullerton College, I took the initiative to establish a club for formerly incarcerated students. We aimed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who, like me, were returning to education after being impacted by the criminal justice system. My dedication to my studies was evident as I consistently earned a place on the dean's honors list for four out of the five semesters I spent there. Remarkably, I graduated in May 2022, achieving five associate degrees in Political Science, Social Sciences, Human Arts and Expression, and Social Behavior and Self Development. My son also graduated from high school during the same period, marking a significant milestone for our family. Following my successful journey at Fullerton College, I made the transition to Cal State Fullerton last fall to continue my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree. Beyond that, I aspire to attend law school. Specifically, I aim to become a dependency lawyer, advocating for parents who have had their children removed by the Child Welfare System. Having experienced the anguish of losing my child, I am motivated to support as many parents as possible in their journey to reunify with their children. This year, I established a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting women transitioning out of our county's jails. Our organization's mission encompasses various vital services, including housing, workforce development, advocacy, and legal representation. The impact of this scholarship extends beyond my educational aspirations; it will also empower me to strengthen our support system for those in need. This scholarship holds immense importance in my educational and career aspirations. It will provide essential financial support that will enable me to continue my academic journey and ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community. Choosing to further my education has been the most impactful decision I've ever made, and I am determined to be the catalyst for positive change that my community needs. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration of my application for this scholarship. Thank you for your support in helping me achieve my dreams and make a difference in the lives of others. Sincerely, Stephanie Jeffcoat
      Barbara J. DeVaney Memorial Scholarship Fund
      Dear Scholarship Committee, I am Stephanie Jeffcoat, a first-generation college student with a unique journey of resilience and determination. Before re-enrolling in 2019, I endured a tumultuous decade marked by cycles of incarceration, substance abuse, and four years of homelessness. Throughout this challenging period, I was also tragically separated from my four children. In 2019, I embarked on a new path by enrolling at Fullerton College with a strong resolve to create a better future for myself and my family. I chose to major in Political Science, and while it sometimes felt unusual to be one of the older students in my classes, I knew it was a necessary step for my personal growth and my children's well-being. During my time at Fullerton College, I took the initiative to establish a club for formerly incarcerated students. We aimed to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals who, like me, were returning to education after being impacted by the criminal justice system. My dedication to my studies was evident as I consistently earned a place on the dean's honors list for four out of the five semesters I spent there. Remarkably, I graduated in May 2022, achieving five associate degrees in Political Science, Social Sciences, Human Arts and Expression, and Social Behavior and Self Development. My son also graduated from high school during the same period, marking a significant milestone for our family. Following my successful journey at Fullerton College, I made the transition to Cal State Fullerton last fall to continue my pursuit of a Bachelor's degree. Beyond that, I aspire to attend law school. Specifically, I aim to become a dependency lawyer, advocating for parents who have had their children removed by the Child Welfare System. Having experienced the anguish of losing my child, I am motivated to support as many parents as possible in their journey to reunify with their children. This year, I established a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting women transitioning out of our county's jails. Our organization's mission encompasses various vital services, including housing, workforce development, advocacy, and legal representation. The impact of this scholarship extends beyond my educational aspirations; it will also empower me to strengthen our support system for those in need. This scholarship holds immense importance in my educational and career aspirations. It will provide essential financial support that will enable me to continue my academic journey and ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community. Choosing to further my education has been the most impactful decision I've ever made, and I am determined to be the catalyst for positive change that my community needs. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration of my application for this scholarship. Thank you for your support in helping me achieve my dreams and make a difference in the lives of others. Sincerely, Stephanie Jeffcoat
      TJ Crowson Memorial Scholarship
      You never know where life may take you. My name is Stephanie Jeffcoat and this year I am a Senior at CSUF majoring in Political Science. In just a few months I will be taking the lSAT and shortly after will be applying to law school. My dreams are to become a dependency lawyer helping parents who have been separated from their children by Child Protective Services. (Cps) While I was incarcerated my daughter was adopted. I feel like I was never given the chance to advocate for myself and to keep my family together. My own attorney did not stand up and fight for my relationship with my daughter. I want to ensure that other parents do not have to experience this. The reason I am so passionate about this is because I have experienced it myself. I spent 19 years struggling with addiction. 10 of those years I spent cycling in and out of the carceral system and for 4 years I was living on the streets. I know what it's like to have struggles and be able to overcome them. I would positively change my community by continuing to do the things I am doing now. For the last 4 years, I have worked as a community organizer helping those who have just been released from incarceration. This year I started my own organization in my community to help those who are being released from jail/. Mass Incarceration has been something that has plagued our communities for the last few decades. My purpose and passion are to provide supportive services for those who are just being released and help lower the rate of recidivism. I know how important it is to have support after being released. Unfortunately, this is something that I didn’t have so I want to make sure that other people in my community can have this type of support. My organization will provide housing along with other services such as Advocacy, workforce development, pro-bono legal representation, family reunification, and other services to help them along their journey. We also will help those who are unhoused by connecting them with CityNet which is an agency that can help get them off the streets and into a shelter. I know how important it is to have a safe place to come to every day so I want to help as many people as I can have that opportunity. I believe I have the authority now and am working towards making my dream a reality.
      Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
      You never know where life may take you. My name is Stephanie Jeffcoat and this year I am a Senior at CSUF majoring in Political Science. In just a few months I will be taking the lSAT and shortly after will be applying to law school. My dreams are to become a dependency lawyer helping parents who have been separated from their children by Child Protective Services. (Cps) While I was incarcerated my daughter was adopted. I feel like I was never given the chance to advocate for myself and to keep my family together. My own attorney did not stand up and fight for my relationship with my daughter. I want to ensure that other parents do not have to experience this. The reason I am so passionate about this is because I have experienced it myself. I spent 19 years struggling with addiction. 10 of those years I spent cycling in and out of the carceral system and for 4 years I was living on the streets. I know what it's like to have struggles and be able to overcome them. I would positively change my community by continuing to do the things I am doing now. For the last 4 years, I have worked as a community organizer helping those who have just been released from incarceration. This year I started my organization in my community to help those who are being released from jail/. Mass Incarceration has been something that has plagued our communities for the last few decades. My purpose and passion are to provide supportive services for those who are just being released and help lower the rate of recidivism. I know how important it is to have support after being released. Unfortunately, this is something that I didn’t have so I want to make sure that other people in my community can have this type of support. My organization will provide housing along with other services such as Advocacy, workforce development, pro-bono legal representation, family reunification, and other services to help them along their journey. We also will help those who are unhoused by connecting them with CityNet which is an agency that can help get them off the streets and into a shelter. I know how important it is to have a safe place to come to every day so I want to help as many people as I can have that opportunity. I believe I have the authority now and am working towards making my dream a reality.
      Dema Dimbaya Humanitarianism and Disaster Relief Scholarship
      Hi, My name is Stephanie Jeffcoat, I spent many years struggling with addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. During my time on the streets, I saw how much community service was needed. After living on the streets for four years I finally received the help I needed. I went to a homeless shelter where I was able to get sober and enroll back into school. I got connected to a church where I started Volunteering. I have been a volunteer in the kitchen ministry, and women's ministry, and recently was able to start my ministry helping the homeless. The homeless ministry provides backpacks filled with hygiene kits, blankets, and socks for those who are still living on the streets. By providing them with their basic needs even just for a little while we hope that they can see the love of God. A few times a year we go out into the community to the different areas where people sleep and pass out the backpacks. Throughout the years we have been able to pass out over 300 backpacks to those in need. We have a room set up for people who may come to the church in need of assistance. They can go and pick out the stuff they need. I also volunteer at an event called Kings Table. We bring people from various homeless shelters and have a five-course meal with them. During that time we fellowship, have live worship, and even a time to share testimonies. Most of the people that attend have never attended a fancy dinner before. We set the table as if it was a part of a wedding party. They can use that time to get away from the shelter for a little bit, come to church and receive the word, and then fellowship with the people who have volunteered to be there to serve them and to talk with them. I love to volunteer because it allows me to connect with people. This year I just recently started a nonprofit organization to help people who are coming out of the carceral system. We will provide housing as well as other direct services such as family reunification, workforce development, pro-bono legal representation, case management, advocacy, as well as a few other programs. This is one way that I feel I can make a bigger impact to those who need support and resources. I plan on continuing to volunteer and spreading hope and positivity to all that I may encounter.
      Female Empowerment Scholarship
      Hello my name is Stephanie Jeffcoat. I am a first generation college graduate. From the time that I was young I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. At the age of 16 I became pregnant with my oldest. At the age of 17 I gave birth to him. He was born 15 weeks early. We spent 3 and a half months in in the NICU and during that time his nurses convinced me that I should consider going into the medical field. At the time it didn't seem like a bad idea, being that I had spent so much time in the NICU learning and seeing first hand what the nurses did. I felt like because of my experience I would be able to help other parents. I decided to enroll into school. I signed up for a trade school where I received a certificate in medical assisting. I had no plans on working as a medical assistant. I ended up having to take out school loans to apply that towards the school. That was one of the biggest mistakes I could've made. I went into debt to earn a degree for something I have never worked as. After that, I said I would never go back to school. Shortly after graduating my life went down a totally different path. I started experiencing with drugs, was suffering from a alcohol addiction, and became an exotic dancer. This was the start of a vicious cycle that took me 10 years to get out of. After dealing with incarceration, homelessness, addiction, assault, and the loss of my children. I knew I wanted to live a different way. My last time of incarceration which was only 6 months, my daughter was adopted. Going through that experience put the desire in me to want to go back to school. My attorney failed me and I knew that I needed to get into a position to help other parents not have to experience the same pain that I have these last 6 years being apart from my daughter. After completing my Bachelors I will be continuing on to law school. I would like to be a dependency lawyer helping represent parents who have had their kids taking by the Child Welfare System. I know what's it like to lose a child and I want to help as many parents as I can reunify with their children. This scholarship will help me be able to continuing to pursue my degree. I thank you for your time and consideration.
      Small Seed Big Flower Scholarship
      Hello my name is Stephanie Jeffcoat. I am a first generation college graduate. From the time that I was young I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. At the age of 16 I became pregnant with my oldest. At the age of 17th I gave birth to him. He was born 15 weeks early. We spent 3 and a half months in in the NICU and during that time his nurses convinced me that I should consider going into the medical field. At the time it didn't seem like a bad idea, being that I had spent so much time in the NICU learning and seeing first hand what the nurses did. I felt like because of my experience I would be able to help other parents. I decided to enroll into school. I signed up for a trade school where I received a certificate in medical assisting. I had no plans on working as a medical assistant. I ended up having to take out school loans to apply that towards the school. That was one of the biggest mistakes I could've made. I went into debt to earn a degree for something I have never worked as. After that, I said I would never go back to school. Shortly after graduating my life went down a totally different path. I started experiencing with drugs, was suffering from a alcohol addiction, and became an exotic dancer. This was the start of a vicious cycle that took me 10 years to get out of. After dealing with incarceration, homelessness, addiction, assault, and the loss of my children. I knew I wanted to live a different way. My last time of incarceration which was only 6 months, my daughter was adopted. Going through that experience put the desire in me to want to go back to school. My attorney failed me and I knew that I needed to get into a position to help other parents not have to experience the same pain that I have these last 6 years being apart from my daughter. After completing my Bachelors I will be continuing on to law school. I would like to be a dependency lawyer helping represent parents who have had their kids taking by the Child Welfare System. I know what's it like to lose a child and I want to help as many parents as I can reunify with their children. This scholarship will help me be able to continuing to pursue my degree. I thank you for your time and consideration.
      Marie J. Smith Esq. Social Sciences Scholarship
      Hello my name is Stephanie Jeffcoat. I am a first generation college graduate. From the time that I was young I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. Currently my major is Political Science. At the age of 16 I became pregnant with my oldest. At the age of 17 I gave birth to him. He was born 15 weeks early. We spent 3 and a half months in in the NICU and during that time his nurses convinced me that I should consider going into the medical field. At the time it didn't seem like a bad idea, being that I had spent so much time in the NICU learning and seeing first hand what the nurses did. I felt like because of my experience I would be able to help other parents. I decided to enroll into school. I signed up for a trade school where I received a certificate in medical assisting. I had no plans on working as a medical assistant. I ended up having to take out school loans to apply that towards the school. That was one of the biggest mistakes I could've made. I went into debt to earn a degree for something I have never worked as. After that, I said I would never go back to school. Shortly after graduating my life went down a totally different path. I started experiencing with drugs, was suffering from a alcohol addiction, and became an exotic dancer. This was the start of a vicious cycle that took me 10 years to get out of. After dealing with incarceration, homelessness, addiction, assault, and the loss of my children. I knew I wanted to live a different way. My last time of incarceration which was only 6 months, my daughter was adopted. Going through that experience put the desire in me to want to go back to school. My attorney failed me and I knew that I needed to get into a position to help other parents not have to experience the same pain that I have these last 6 years being apart from my daughter. After completing my Bachelors I will be continuing on to law school. I would like to be a dependency lawyer helping represent parents who have had their kids taking by the Child Welfare System. I know what's it like to lose a child and I want to help as many parents as I can reunify with their children. This scholarship will help me be able to continuing to pursue my degree. I thank you for your time and consideration.
      Catrina Celestine Aquilino Memorial Scholarship
      Hello my name is Stephanie Jeffcoat. I am a first generation college graduate. From the time that I was young I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. At the age of 16 I became pregnant with my oldest. At the age of 17th I gave birth to him. He was born 15 weeks early. We spent 3 and a half months in in the NICU and during that time his nurses convinced me that I should consider going into the medical field. At the time it didn't seem like a bad idea, being that I had spent so much time in the NICU learning and seeing first hand what the nurses did. I felt like because of my experience I would be able to help other parents. I decided to enroll into school. I signed up for a trade school where I received a certificate in medical assisting. I had no plans on working as a medical assistant. I ended up having to take out school loans to apply that towards the school. That was one of the biggest mistakes I could've made. I went into debt to earn a degree for something I have never worked as. After that, I said I would never go back to school. Shortly after graduating my life went down a totally different path. I started experiencing with drugs, was suffering from a alcohol addiction, and became an exotic dancer. This was the start of a vicious cycle that took me 10 years to get out of. After dealing with incarceration, homelessness, addiction, assault, and the loss of my children. I knew I wanted to live a different way. My last time of incarceration which was only 6 months, my daughter was adopted. Going through that experience put the desire in me to want to go back to school. My attorney failed me and I knew that I needed to get into a position to help other parents not have to experience the same pain that I have these last 6 years being apart from my daughter. After completing my Bachelors I will be continuing on to law school. I would like to be a dependency lawyer helping represent parents who have had their kids taking by the Child Welfare System. I know what's it like to lose a child and I want to help as many parents as I can reunify with their children. This scholarship will help me be able to continuing to pursue my degree. I thank you for your time and consideration.
      Cocoa Diaries Scholarship
      We never know what path life is going to take us nor what road we will decide to take when we reach a crossroads. For over 10 years I dealt with addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. I went from having everything to losing my home, my car, and my kids. I spent years sleeping under a bridge, in a field, an ally, side of the freeway, and may other places on the streets. Even through all of that though, as crazy as it may sound, I'm thankful for having to go through all of that. Due to my addiction my daughter was taken away from me at birth. Losing my daughter was the hardest thing that I've ever had to deal with, but it has helped shape me into who I am today. I have now decided to turn my life around and go back to school. Currently I am working on my Associates Degree, but will be transferring to continue my Bachelors in the fall. Last year I got a job as a community organizer to help advocate for people who are formerly incarcerated and have been affected by the criminal justice system as well as the foster care system. My struggles have allowed me to become a better person and also to be that voice for people who are still struggling to break the cycle of addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. After I get my Bachelors degree I will be going to Law School so that I can help parents be reunified with their children. Like I said earlier, we don't know what path we may end up traveling on, but it's important that we never lose hope or faith. I have been giving another chance to turn my life around. My passion is to help others do the same.